Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lewis Paul Bremer III on Washington DC NBC4 TV 09/11/01

Google removed this three times, and blocked it once

For reasons yet to be explained, Google has repeatedly removed this video from their server. In the first week that it was up, it had 1,474 views before it was removed. It caught fire recently and received about 5000 hits in a matter of a few days before it was taken down again. The evident pattern is that it is not removed as long as it is getting little attention.

This is a mind-boggling interview with Lewis Paul Bremer III (who ended up as the pro-council of Iraq.)

On 09/11/01 Bremer was the Chairman and CEO of Marsh Political Risk Practice which had offices in the WTC as did its parent company Marsh USA. They had a total of 1,700 employees assigned to the WTC. Bremer, himself, had an office in the South Tower. Nonetheless, this "counter-terrorism expert" makes no mention of any of this only three hours after the first plane flew directly into seven of the eight floors of WTC 1 occupied by Marsh USA. He is here on television prognosticating about who will turn out to be the culprits, with calm detachment. What is wrong with this picture?

The opinions of Emad Salem and Andreas Strassmeir would be of interest in this matter.

Full Transcript

Lewis Paul Bremer: Nat'l Commission on Terrorism

Gentzler: We want to turn now to a guest who is
joining us in the studio. It's Paul Bremer. I want to make sure
I'm getting your name right because I'm just meeting you. You're
a terrorism expert?
Bremer: Counter-terrorism, I
Gentzler:And can talk to us a little bit about
who could...I mean there are a limited number of groups who could
be responsible for something of this magnitude. Right?

Bremer: Yes, this is a very well planned, very well
coordinated attack, which suggests it's very well organized
centrally. And there are only three or four candidates in the
world really who could have conducted this attack.

Vance:Bin Laden comes to mind right away, Mr. Bremer.

Bremer: Indeed, he certainly does. Bin Laden was
involved in the first attack on the World Trade Center, which had
as its intentions doing exactly what happened here, which was to
collapse both towers. He certainly has to be a prime suspect.
But there are others in the Middle East. There are at least two
states, Iran and Iraq which should least remain on the list

Gentzler:What kind of coordination? How could something
like this be put together.

Bremer:First of all, you've got to find some people
who are willing to die. And then, of course, they have to find
ways around what we thought was pretty good security at our
airports. We haven't had a hijacking in a long time. Let alone
four. So there had to be good coordination. There has to have
been coordination in the whole planning of the attack. The
people, if they were not Americans, they needed visas to get into
the United States. They needed false identities to by Airline
tickets. They needed cars to get to the Airport. There's a whole
lot of stuff that had to happen here.

Gentzler:With as many resources as our government, and
our allies' governments around the world devote to studying
terrorism, and knowing what's going on, and what they're planning,
you have to wonder how something of this magnitude, how this could
take place without any warning or any hint that it was coming.

Bremer:Well, first of all, the intelligence against
terrorists is the hardest intelligence to gather. Basically, you
have to have a spy in the terrorist group who's willing to talk to
you, for whatever reason. It's the hardest intelligence there is
to... The National Commission on Terrorism which I chaired last
year, made as our key recommendation much more effort to try to get
terrorist spies, informing on their colleagues to us.

Every time there is a major terrorist attack, it is
automatically, of course, an intelligence failure. That's by
definition. But I'm sympathetic to the problem about how you get
good intelligence on these people. It's not easy. There is an
intelligence failure here. There is a massive security failure,
where we have four airplanes being hijacked on the same morning.
Two from Dulles Airport it appears. So there's a lot of lessons
that have to be learned. First we have to find out who did

Vance:Mr. Bremer, I want to speak to that for a second.
When the Oklahoma City incident occurred, the immediate response
from a lot of people was that it came from some Arab terrorist
group. Is there any reasons why we aught to be cautious about that
kind of an assumption on this particular incident, on these

Bremer:Well, of course. What you have to work with at
this stage, since we don't have any hard intelligence, apparently,
we don't have any forensic evidence, is motivations and
capabilities. And so when I list four potential groups I'm working
mostly from motivations and proven capabilities in the past.
[That] doesn't mean you can exclude that some other group
could have come out of nowhere and done this. But, at least as a
working hypothesis in the first chaotic hours here after this
attack, you have to start somewhere. And you have to start with
what you know about the past and which groups have motives.

Vance:One of the things that the President said today
from Florida, early on, was that the United States will respond to
this, and he left it at that. Is it to be assumed that the first
thing we have to figure out is to identify precisely who it is
we're going to respond against?

Bremer:Of course. Basically we has sort of a four
stage operation. First we've got to hope and help we can save as
many people ... as possible. Stabilize the situation at the
Pentagon and in New York. Secondly we need to get to work in
trying to identify the perpetrators. And then, thirdly, we come to
the question about retaliation. And fourthly, which goes along,
all along, at the same time is what are the lessons we learned?
What did we learn about the intelligence failure? What did we
learn about the security failure? And who do we move forward in
the future on these areas.

Vance:I don't recall anything like this. Pearl Harbor
happened a month before I was born, and I hear my parents talk
about it all the time as a seminal event in their lives all the
time. I am not aware of anything like this in the United States
before. Americans are now, I think it's fair to say, really
scared. Should we be?

Gentzler:This is a day that will change our lives,
isn't it?

Bremer:It is a day that will change our lives. It's
a day that the war that the terrorists declared on the United
States, and after all they did declare a way on us, has been
brought home to the United States in a much more dramatic way than
we've seen before. So it will change our lives.

I do think it's important, and I'm sure the President and
his colleagues when they start talking about this, it's important
to hit some ballance. The American way of life is not threatened
by these people, unless we threaten it ourselves. If we start
throwing away the democratic freedoms and the civil liberties that
are at the heart of our society, that's what their after. And
that's what we can't allow to have happen. And we've got to go
about our business. People have got to move around.

I was diverted on a plane this morning. I was trying to get
to New York, and wound up in Baltimore. I in a way was sort of at
least relieved to see business as usual going on between people.
We have to go on with our lives. It's not to say we don't take it
seriously. We take it very seriously. But it's not something
where we can all jump in a foxhole somewhere and hope the world
doesn't come and bother us. We have to find a ballanced response.
One that makes it absolutely clear, as the President said this
morning, that we're not going to tolerate this act of war. This
will have consequences for the people who did it. Very, I hope
very severe consequences. The most sever military response we can
come up with. But we also have to remember that we've got a way
of life to protect, and that this is not an existential threat to
the United States.

Gentzler:Paul Bremer, thank you.

Vance: We appreciate it, Mr. Bremer, thank you very

Gentzler:We should make it clear that there has been
no claim of responsibility ...
understand. this point to, uh, for
any of these incidents.

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